My Fitness Journey

Part 33: 80 Day Obsession: The Lowdown

Chris Brophy Beachbody on Demand Slides Resistance Loops and Food Containers

I wasn’t interested in this workout when I first heard about it, as I quite like working out my own way in my own time. But these past few months have been a little static weight wise. Sure, I’ve stayed healthy, so the workouts weren’t a complete waste of time, but I didn’t feel like I was making any progress.  So when my friend (also called Chris) told me about “80 Day Obsession” and how it was benefitting him I decided it was time to get involved, especially as he shifted 4lbs of fat in the first week.  So what’s it all about? Here’s the lowdown…

It’s a new online workout available from Beachbody Online. Beachbody are the folk behind Focus T25, which is the workout that kickstarted my entire weight loss journey. 80DO is for intermediate or advanced fitness types, so if you’re new to fitness I recommend beginning with T25 or 80DO’s predecessor entitled ‘A Little Obsessed”.

The host is American fitness expert Autumn Calabrese who along with her hunky team of around 6 cast present videos of 45-60 minutes in length. Unlike Focus T25 which consists of 6 videos you just jig around into a different order each week, 80DO actually delivers 80 different videos to you even if the workout is titled the  same. So even though it’s cardio day on Monday say, you’ll do a different cardio workout each Monday. Well… it’s kind of the same but longer; for example, you’ll do more reps or increase your weights.

Chris Brophy January 26th 2018

Chris Brophy January 26th 2018

Before starting on the workout you need to subscribe to Beachbody on Demand, which at the time of writing this is free for two weeks and then around £30-ish (because they actually charge in US Dollars) every quarter. There are other payment options like annual plans for example. You can subscribe to Beachbody on Demand here.  One of the great things about this subscription is that you can choose any or all of the workouts on there from Focus T25 to Insantity, A Little Obsessed to 80 Day Obsession itself, so by all mean sign up and choose a workout that suits you. I highly recommend Focus T25 as a starting point for those new to fitness. You can either get it online by watching it on-demand or you can buy it as a set of DVD’s with accessories. You can see how T25 has benefitted me by reading Part 2: Getting In Shape on this site, but right now I’m focussing on 80 Day Obsession.

Once you’re signed up, there are a number of PDF documents to download. The welcome pack provides you with a mathematical equation that’ll help you work out how many calories you should be consuming in a day. You will then select a meal plan based on the outcome of that calculation. So personally, I am on Plan C.

Basically, you eat 5 meals a day instead of your usual 3, but the portion sizes are of course smaller and much healthier. The nutrition sheet gives you a list of ingredients to help you choose what meals to make for yourself. The first thing I did was buy food containers; red for proteins, yellow for carbs, purple for fruit, orange is for seeds and blue for healthy fats like cheese. They are very small containers but if you put them all together on a plate you’ll see how it makes up one decent sized meal.

You are not given a recipe book of food you’ll hate; instead you’re advised on what ‘colours’ (nutrients) you should eat per meal and then given a list of foods as a suggestion. So for example, you could pick cucumber from the green tub which is obviously a vegetable, and then go for a healthy slice of turkey from red tub which are your proteins. That kind of thing. So the hardest and most stressful part for me, which took two days as I was floating between various chores, was to compile a 7 day list of 5 meals a day. That really hurt my brain. Some people may do this on the fly, but my lifetyle is manic because of various commitments I have, so I need to be well-organised and plan ahead.

It’s a case of pick something from one category and something from the others. Use the containers as measuring jugs if you like and hey presto you’ve got your healthy meal plan. I’ll tell you more about what I’ve eaten in my next blog post, but in a nutshell I’m still able to eat much of the food I’ve always loved eating. I’m just not filling an entire plate and pouring river sized sauces over it all, nor am I dipping 4 rounds of bread into it at the end of meal.

I’m drinking half a cup of good old British tea with my breakfast, and having a couple of cups in the evening with only one sweetener in each. For the whole day itself I’m drinking nothing but water, or water with fresh lemons squeezed in to them. But back to meals…

Chris Brophy January 26th 2018

Chris Brophy January 26th 2018

You have to make sure your meal times are spaced apart by around 2-3 hours. I’ve managed to stick with 3 hours most of my first week, but on days where I’ve got more going on like a meeting at school in the middle of the day, I’ve had to bring it to 2 hours or just over 3. As long as you’re not eating too close to other meal times you should be ok.

It’s important to remember that these meals are meant to be small because you’re eating 5 meals a day, so it’s quite tempting to bung a load of food on your plate because you’re hungry. But I just remind myself that another meal is coming in a few hours! So far, I’ve stuck to medium-sized ‘lunch’ plates for each meal and haven’t needed to use full-sized dinner plates at all. I’ve done really well.

I forgot to say that it’s important you take photographs of yourself from various angles and take measurements before you start, preferably on Day 1 which is a Sunday.  I will be weighing myself tomorrow (Sunday) which is Day 8; the start of my second week. I’ll take measurements also, but it’s not required until the end of each “phase”.  The first phase is weeks 1-4, then phase 2 is weeks 5-8, phase 3 is weeks 9-12, and then there’s a final week 13.  So in my next blog post I’m going to reveal how things have gone for me in week 1, but I won’t publish any actual images until the end of that phase, so in 3 weeks time. You can though follow me on Instagram where I may be revealing various sneaky pics throughout the week…..maybe 🙂

The workouts themselves are really good. I’m impressed. Although they are different to what I was used to with Focus T25. With T25, it was quite full-on! The instructor Shaun T is very military style in his delivery, showing you what to do as you’re actually doing it. This doesn’t suit everyone. I recall when I was doing T25 struggling in my first week to keep up because I’m trying to watch how he does a move, but by the time I’d learnt it he’d moved on to something else. That was because I was a complete overweight blobby mess of a man with no knowledge of how to perform even the most basic of exercises. But I liked the fact that Shaun T just got on with his workouts.

Autumn Calabrese, the host of 80 Day Obsession is different. There’s lot of chat! Now to some people that’s a great thing. Loads of “banter” between Autumn and her cast clearly show they have good personalities and it makes you feel relaxed rather than terrified of your first session. For me, it’s a little waffley at times! I’m like “just get on with it will ya” as I sit waiting for the in-jokes to finish. But that’s because I’m inpatient too. I don’t like sitting around waiting… so I don’t. I stretch or continue with the last exercise whilst waiting for the occasional waffle to finish. But that’s just me…that’s my preference. It doesn’t mean I’m right; it’s just that I prefer it more boom, boom, boom…right into it with minimal chit-chat.

The workouts consist of a very well structured series of exercises aimed to blast every inch of fat off your waist. Even on ‘leg day’ you can feel your core tightening.  Each day focuses on specific zones like abs, arse (that’s ass to my American friends!), arms, core, legs and so on, with Sunday being stretch day. The workouts really do push you and there aren’t many sit down moments at all. You’ll sweat buckets and probably be sore. I’m reading a lot from others that they are sore, but I’ve been lucky. The only pain I’m getting is from my finger which as you’ll recall from my previous few posts was fractured recently. So I need to be careful when using weights.

80 Day Obsession: Resistance Loops, Food Jars and My Food Plan

80 Day Obsession: Resistance Loops, Food Jars and My Food Plan

In these exercises we use resistance bands (or loops) which go around your legs, but make sure you’re wearing long length workout pants and not shorts, guys! Rubber bands around hairy legs are painful!!  The loops of various strengths and colours help identify those levels of resistance. So yellow may be the easier band and black is strong!  I didn’t buy any authorised Beachbody gear at all; I simply bought mine off Amazon for less than £9, as I did the food jars and the foam roller which is used on Stretch Day Sundays!

Also used a lot in the workouts are slides which you’ll see in the main image for this blog post. Think of them as plates, plastic plates. Many of the moves involve sliding around rather than actually walking or climbing, for example imagine yourself in push-up/press-up position but your feet are on plates doing 360 circles or like a sliding mountain climber. Boy do you feel those abs getting ripped!  It’s hard, trust me, but the old cliche is right; no pain, no gain. Some of the workouts require dumbbells of various weight and trust me you also ‘feel it’ in your arms, back and shoulders during these routines. So there’s hardly any rests, it’s quite a full-on workout, but despite the pouring sweat and tingling arms, legs, abs, shoulders and butt, it’s a very enjoyable workout.

I don’t want to say how much it’s benefitted me in my first week yet because frankly I do not know for sure. But I will say that I feel different. I feel more focused on my jobs, more energised before workouts and much better post-workout because of the exercise and great food I’m eating. I can see a difference and I’m certain that I’ve shifted weight this week. I can’t see that bloated area just below the man-boob area any more.  I don’t want to take measurements yet though until the end of phase 1 which is in 3 weeks from now… and that is when I will reveal new images and measurements to you. But tomorrow, I will blog again with information about how I’m feeling, whether or not weight did actually drop off and a list of foods I ate this week.

Right now, I’m off to do my last workout of the week and first thing tomorrow those scales are coming out! Obsessed indeed.

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I would appreciate it if you'd share this article for me. Go on, spread the Brophy love! Thanks, Chris